Saint Augustine, Florida
Client: The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Florida
Scope of Services: Record Documents; Historic Structure Report; Condition Assessment; Dendrochronolgy; Historic Paint and Finishes Analysis; Phased Restoration
The two-story main block of this early house is constructed of local coral coquina stone and stuccoed inside and out with a lime plaster. Rectangular in plan, the house is set at the corner of the city’s two oldest streets. A two-story wing extends from the back of the house along one of the streets; the ground floor of the wing is built of stuccoed coquina stone while the second floor is frame and sheathed with flush siding.
Modern repairs to the stone and stucco had used incompatible materials which were trapping moisture, causing extensive damage to the original materials. JKOA was commissioned to correct these problems, to conduct further investigations of the building’s evolution, and to restore the building.
Circumstantial documentary sources had led to a general agreement among researchers for many years that this National Historic Landmark was constructed about 1797 during the Second Spanish Colonial Period. However, there has been disagreement as to how much of the L-shaped house might be of later periods. The project required extensive repairs to the stone and plaster walls and wood trim. The open conditions during this work allowed building investigation and material testing. Dendrochronolgy confirmed that the main block and part of the first floor of the ell were constructed as suspected in the late-eighteenth century. Dendrochronology together with chemical analysis of the paint determined that the second floor of the ell dates to the middle of the nineteenth century.